HealthDay News — Based on a survey published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, cardiothoracic surgeons reported having a very high level of job satisfaction.

John Ikonomidis, MD, PhD, from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, assessed responses for a 63 question survey instrument that was administered to 4343 surgeon members of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The return rate was 29.1%. The survey indicated that 73% of practicing surgeons are either satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with their current career. This compared to 72% in a previous 2009 study.

In addition, Ikonomidis found that the median age of active thoracic surgeons in the United States was 54 years, and 6.9% of the responders were women (6.3% of adult cardiac, 6.1% of congenital heart, and 11.8% of general thoracic surgeons). Most residents had a mean of 8.7 years of residency training after graduation from medical school.

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Cumulative educational debt averaged $62,815. Approximately 26% of surgeons reported a decrease in operative volume over the past 12 months. Overall, 43.8% reported planning to retire between ages 66 and 70 years.

“These data provide a current, detailed profile of the specialty,” Ikonomidis writes. “Ongoing challenges remain length of training and educational debt.”


Bavelloni A, Piazzi M, Raffini M, Faenza I, Blalock WL. Prohibitin 2: At a communications crossroads. IUBMB Life. 2015;67(4):239-54. doi: 2016.08.020.

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